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Our ongoing selection of journalism and media news.

  • 23 February 2011 | {CATEGORY}

    Character and veto power: French journalists’ two defenses against interference from owners

    In France, many journalists work for major tycoons and are still able to, at least partially, protect their independence. In February, staff members from three different newspapers were given the chance to veto the selection of the new editors who were appointed by the shareholders. Find out what the future holds for some of France's top newspapers and what journalists are saying about it.
  • 11 October 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Press and President in new standoff in France

    A political and financial scandal involving a French cabinet minister and allegedly France's richest woman is again highlighting the tense relations between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the press.
  • 18 August 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Prison Valley: Breakaway web documentary

    In the landmark French web documentary Prison Valley, journalist David Dufresne and photographer Philippe Brault investigate the prison industry in Fremont County, a remote part of Colorado, USA. The two reporters explore an area that has 36,000 inhabitants, over 7,000 inmates and 13 jails. “Tens of thousands people” visited the website,, since it went online on 22 April, 2010, according to David Dufresne. “24 per cent watched it in full”, said the journalist. It's a success that looks set to change the documentary world.
  • 7 June 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    In Norway, newspapers tackle e-tablets together

    National Media Association of Norway Director, Geir Engen, on platform-neutral portals for distributing paid content.
  • 16 April 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Despite financial challenges, Le Monde gets a makeover

    The most iconic daily newspaper in France is trying to position itself as a multi-channel news provider. It has restructured its print product. Campaigned for new subscriptions. Created iPhone and iPad applications. But will foreign investors soon be in control of Le Monde anyway?
  • 22 February 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Comment is free, but French comment sections are sacred

    Reading user comments on news websites – in France as elsewhere – often involves skimming through bad-mannered quarrels. For some, this can be off-putting. For journalists, the experience can be even more unpleasant. "Out of weariness, despondency or simply to avoid becoming severely depressed, most of my colleagues now ignore them," one columnist wrote at, the online version of daily newspaper Libération. But whether journalists and readers like reading them, user comments are there to stay.
  • 16 February 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    Alone with social networks in Perigord, France

    In Perigord, France, five journalists spent five days in an isolated farmhouse using only Twitter and Facebook to connect to the world. Some would call it just another holiday weekend. Others acknowledge this social experiment as a great way to view information flow online and test how well the two social networks provide information. "On Twitter there is a huge amount of soft news. There is also a lot of very interesting news about new technologies. … But for politics and economics it takes longer," concluded Nicolas Willems of Belgium's RTBF, on air after the experiment.
  • 14 January 2010 | {CATEGORY}

    New bill on protection of sources “imperfect,” say French journalists

    A long-awaited bill on the protection of anonymous sources has prompted mixed reactions from journalists. It formalizes the right of journalists to hide sources, tightens rules for searches of journalists and invalidates materials obtained through phone taps. There can be exceptions, though, if there is “an overriding requirement in the public interest.” This provision has drawn much fire.
  • 22 November 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    In France, a rush of community news sites

    Google News now allows French Internet users to narrow search results geographically. Thanks to a new 'location' (or lieu) field, residents of the République Française can enter a city or postal code to look for articles from a specific area. Online-only and traditional press websites are also expanding - or rather, narrowing - their focus on hyperlocal audiences. An overview of several new French initiatives and a look at how technology will shape their development.
  • 21 October 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Association of online publishers to lobby government in France

    Seven online news publishers in France have united to defend their interests ahead of key government and parliament decisions. They have founded SPIIL, an association of the independent online press. “We represent new forms of professional news media that are developing on the Internet. As everyone knows, news websites are struggling to find viable business models. Our aim is to obtain a legal framework that allows them to become profitable,” said Maurice Botbol, SPIIL's chairman. SPIIL wants the French parliament to support MP Patrice Martin-Lalande's plan to grant websites a favourable VAT rate. It is also advocating for thoughtful comment moderation policies.
  • 21 September 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    New bid to boost diversity among French journalists

    Only one or two percent of students at the prestigious Ecole supérieure de journalisme (ESJ) in Lille, France, come from a working class background, says Marc Capelle, the school's managing director. In a bid to increase this proportion, the ESJ has launched a foundation course to help students from less substantive backgrounds pass the entrance competition for French journalism schools. Corentin Wauters spoke with Marc Capelle about the course.
  • 25 August 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Managing director of World Press Photo on the difficulties of photojournalism

    For years, Paris was a centre of photojournalism. Agencies like Gamma and Sipa were founded there in the 1970s. But in an interview with the EJC, World Press Photo's managing director Michiel Munneke says that in the burgeoning "era of globalisation and digitisation, it doesn't serve a purpose to say, ‘This is a centre of photojournalism.' "I think it's everywhere, and that of course is a big change, Munneke says. "It's part of a bigger world and it has to adapt to globalisation and technical developments. In a sense they both bring great opportunities as well as threats. As I said, competition is more severe. At the same time there are talented photographers in parts of the world where Western photographers used to be sent."
  • 12 August 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    AFP ignores scoops, say French papers

    Agence France Presse (AFP) has been accused of ignoring scoops in certain French newspapers. One satirical article in Libération says the agency was “strangely shy” after revelations about the French President and major banks. So what is AFP doing? Assisting or reporting on the powers that be?
  • 28 July 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Swiss TV bites back at vampire Sarkozy

    A new Swiss documentary, Vampire des medias, examines Sarkozy's influence over public broadcasting in France. It describes Sarkozy as a “media animal” who skilfully uses the press. The current president appears on television three times more often than his predecessors Jacques Chirac or François Mitterrand. The documentary shows several scenes in which Sarkozy attacks journalists, publicly criticising their work. But will it air on TV5 Monde, as similar reports do?
  • 6 July 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    State aid and 10 Commandments to revive French press

    The media industry is floundering across the Western world. France, however, has intervened with government money. In January, 2009, President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged €600m to keep the French media sector afloat. A new code of practice is also on the horizon, covering the relationship with advertising, respect of privacy, and fact-checking. If adopted, these 10 Commandments will feature in the profession's collective labour agreement.
  • 19 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    Rowing the slaveships of online journalism

    There has been a rush of hostile reactions to Xavier Ternisien's gloomy depiction of the working life of online journalists published last month in Le Monde. Other online content providers in France say Ternisien's article grossly mischaracterises the daily tasks of online journalists. Further, some critics says he should include print journalists in his story about "consenting slaves."
  • 5 June 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    France waking up to news revolution

    French newspapers are becoming increasingly exposed to the kinds of troubles already plaguing the American press. In May, two of France's biggest newspapers, Le Figaro and Liberation, announced that they will not go to press on certain bank holidays in order to save costs. Le Figaro will stop the presses three times a year; Libération five. While the two newspapers describe this measure as limited, some commentators say it could mark the beginning of a trend for daily papers. If all goes as predicted, in perhaps a decade the media landscape in France will be dominated by a small number of newspapers with a clear stance – some with issues once every few days and a high level of integration with their websites – and perhaps a few established pure players.
  • 18 May 2009 | {CATEGORY}

    French anti-piracy bill carries new status for online press

    The Creation and Internet bill, passed 13 May by the French parliament, has been one of the most bitterly debated proposals in the current legislature. Although it mainly deals with filesharing, some articles and amendments cover online journalism. The bill grants “online press services” similar rights to the print press, a move considered by many to be long overdue. It is also meant to relieve those in charge of news websites of some of the responsibility for content published by users on their sites. It states that a news website boss can be considered legally responsible for reader commentary only when it can be proved that he “effectively knew about a specific illegal content and did not remove it”.